chapter eleven; goodbye for now


"Would you like anything?" Roxas offered as he walked into the kitchen upon arriving at his apartment. I politely declined and he returned to the room with a glass of water. He sat down close to me on the couch and I could feel my heart racing. "So how was school?"

"It was alright. Same old." I responded through an awkward laugh.

"Right on. I really would like to go, getting an education is important, after all, but..." He stopped himself there. "Oh well."

"I hope you can get back in soon. It wouldn't be good if you got kicked out."

"Well, the school knows about my personal life to a certain extent. They know that I have a lot of problems. But after this weekend, I think I'm going to come back."

"Is it safe?"

"I don't know, I don't even know what's going on anymore."

"I wish I could help you."

Roxas smirked. "You are helping me, by being my friend." I was a little shocked by this statement but I smiled regardless. Roxas' expression suddenly twisted with a look of concern. He looked as though he were about to tell me something... But no words escaped his lips. Instead, he seemingly removed the thought from his head and smiled at me.

We sat there and made small talk for about two hours. I had to admit, I was a little impressed with myself in how I was handling my anxiety. I was able to give valid input into the conversation, even started a few myself and made Roxas laugh a couple of times. That last bit made me really happy. Naturally, I was still anxious the entire time but I handled myself better than normal. Roxas really seemed to enjoy my company. I found that incredibly hard to believe, but something told me I wasn't lying to myself when I thought that.

A few days passed until the weekend hit, and the same routine occurred every day. Roxas would meet me at the store after school and take me back to his place. We talked, watched movies and played video games; things I'd always imagined I would do if I had a good friend, but had never been given the opportunity to. I couldn't describe the joy it brought me to finally say I had a friend... And a damn cute one, at that. But of course, the more I got to know Roxas the more I wanted to learn about him.

I had questions, and plenty of them, but every time I thought about asking I always lost the courage. I was too worried that Roxas would be offended or get angry; I didn't want to do or say anything that would potentially ruin whatever we had going on. So I didn't bring anything up; the Organization, or Roxas' history with them, must not have been my business. And even if Roxas was a member, he wasn't now, right? So I didn't let it concern me any further, until late Friday night, he was the one to bring it up.

"Say, Namine..." Roxas muttered, putting down his xbox controller. I was sitting on the floor, while he sat on the couch. I leaned my head back and smiled at him.

"What's up?"

"Uhm, don't you ever wonder, you know, what's up with me and those guys?"

I gave him a perplexed look, before I shifted up on the couch beside him. "Well to be honest... Yeah I do."

"How come you never ask me about any of it?"

I blushed and averted his eyes. Sometimes I really hated how direct he was with me. "I dunno... I don't want to stick my nose where it doesn't belong..."

He chuckled a bit. "I respect that. I was just wondering, I guess. Most people bombard others with questions. You're very respectful in that sense."

"Uhm, thank you." I awkwardly looked away from his sweet smile. I sat there and waited for Roxas to start giving me some answers, but instead he picked the controller back up and started playing Halo again. I couldn't help but pout a little, thinking I guess if I want answers, I'll have to ask the questions. But I was still sticking to my original plan; quiet Namine got in the least trouble.

I called Cloud to pick me up around 12 o'clock. I was allowed to stay out a bit later, since it was friday, plus both uncle Ansem and my brother were excited to hear I actually had made a friend, so they were lenient with me. As I was getting ready to leave, Roxas stopped me and gave me a hug at the door.

"Listen, Namine..." He began, still holding me close. I couldn't stop myself from trembling. "I was supposed to tell you this a few days ago... As soon as I got you the phone, actually, I was planning on telling you. But I enjoy your company so much that it was very difficult for me."

I pulled away from him and met his eyes, but for once, it was his that were averting mine. "What do you mean?" I asked quietly, a little sadly.

"We shouldn't be hanging out like this." He blurted. "I never should have gotten you involved in my life."

My heart sank. "W-What? Why?"

"Just by being around you I've put you in danger. Don't you remember what I told you, or have you already forgotten? The Organization told me that if I were to tell you about them and they were to find out about it, it would be seriously bad news. They know who you are now, and it's all because of me."

"T-That's not true. It was their choice to approach me that night-"

"But it was my choice to explain to you who they are. Which was a huge mistake, on my part." I could have sworn his eyes had almost watered. "I'm sorry. But we should seriously stop this."

I felt embarrassed as I tried to resist tears filling my eyes. We hardly knew each other, and it wasn't like we were dating or anything remotely similar. But he was my first friend ever and even still, I doubt he imagined how much he meant to me. Yes, it was insane of me to put so much faith in someone I hardly knew but I wanted to trust him, despite whatever danger he may have been putting me in.

"Please don't get the wrong idea." He said, interrupting my thoughts. "There's nothing wrong with you, I just feel guilty and anxious that being around you is dangerous, Namine. Please try to understand that. The reason why I bought you that phone is so that we can still talk to each other."

"You really still want to talk to me?"

"Yeah, of course... You're my friend. Which is why I'm choosing to stay away from you for a while until I can try to sort shit out."

Although it made me sad, I did understand where he was coming from. It just sucked, and I think I was being a little oversensitive to it. I still felt like maybe there was something wrong with me, despite what he was telling me.

"What if I see you at school?" I inquired shyly.

"A couple of the younger Organization members actually go to our school; I doubt any of them would have been involved in the night you were attacked or the night I was, but it's still not a risk I'm willing to take. I've already made too many foolish mistakes by showing up in public even near the school. And if, by chance they are aware of who you are then they'll probably be looking out for me at school to see who I'm hanging around with."

"Yeah... I guess that's true..."

"But we can text all the time, okay?" He smiled, and I forced a small one back. He hugged me once more, before letting me go. "Goodbye for now."

I left in a hurry to meet Cloud, realizing I was already late to meet him and he had probably been waiting for about five minutes. It was hard for me to control my emotions as I recalled the previous conversation, and I realized that I doubt I would be able to hug Roxas like that for a long time.

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